Insights

How much do you pay to go public?

Anyone doubting that privately financed projects are cheaper than publicly financed ones should have a look at the results of the 1,025,000m³/d Ras Azzour desalination tender in Saudi Arabia. The low bidder (thought to be offering 70% multi-effect distillation and 30% reverse osmosis) was an ACWA Power Sasakura/Samsung Engineering/Degrémont consortium with a cost...

Five things I learned at the Global Water Summit

1. There is no such thing as economic water scarcity, only political water scarcity. Ek Sonn Chan told the story of how the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority had been transformed between 1993 and 2009. The number of connections increased seven-fold, non-revenue water fell from 73% to 6%, collection efficiency rose from 48% to 99.9%, and total revenues increased from...

Top ten growth ideas for the water business

My head has been pretty full of volcanic ash this week but now it has cleared, and I have had to get down to my presentation for the GWI/IDA Global Water Summit. The idea is to pick ten growth themes, for a panel discussion. Here is a preview of what I think are the next big things in water:

  1. Water reuse in the oil and gas market. Over the next five years this is going...

Are city councils playing poker with Monopoly money?

What is the outlook for contract operations in the water sector? It doesn’t look great in the short term. On both sides of the Atlantic, remunicipalisation of water and wastewater services has been eating at the edges of the market. In Paris we have seen certain water services return to city control, with ten communities in the surrounding suburbs now looking to...

How much money do you need to make utilities work?

We finally finished our Global Water Market report last night. It is a monster at more than 1,200 pages. The contents list alone is 70 pages long, which should give an idea of the sheer density of information it contains.

One of the last bits of data I was putting together yesterday afternoon was a chart showing how many dollars’ worth of assets water utilities...

The must-have product with a broken financial model

I have been up to my ears in our new Global Water Market forecast this past month. It is a mammoth project – we have had 25 people working on it for most of the past six months.

The first impression one gets from the report is the impossible diversity of the international water sector. The water sector in Thailand is almost unrecognisable when compared to the...